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Cut The Crackpot: Dealing with Crazy People

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Posted by Joseph on September 9, 2015
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Crazy folks – everybody got them! Not the mental illness but people who are rational most of the time but have one area of life where they just see cross eyed. How many crazy gay men does it take to screw in a light bulb?

The longer you try and make sense of a crazy person the more likely you are to go crazy yourself. It’s a rotten apple in the barrel type of situation. When you’re surrounded by illogical, inconsistent, hypocritical, narcissistic, selfish, and irrational behavior all day, you’re bound to get a little rubbed off on you. Traits like these are defense mechanisms and are used unconsciously to make a person feel better about his or her self. It’s their issue, not yours.
The first thing you need to do is take a step back to investigate their behavior from an outwards perspective. The beginning red flags of crazy behavior are: flipping out unexpectedly, blaming other people for things they did wrong, using people as punching bags, associating the behavior of others with behavior done by bullies in their past, and often being the first person to bring up something “wrong” in any situation. Sounds familiar right? That’s because we all have a little crazy within us; it’s called human behavior. One of the reasons why a crazy person drives us up the wall is because, in reality, we relate to them. We know why they’re flipping out because we’ve been there too – maybe not as drastic but we’ve been there nonetheless.
Life is meant to be progressive. If we’re staying stationary we have no chance of growing, therefore, the longer we refuse to investigate our bad qualities the longer we’ll continue to show them. We happened to notice bad qualities about ourselves that stunt our growth and we’ve managed to put it into practice; crazies haven’t yet.

How many times have people said you were selfish? Aggressive? Paranoid? Stubborn? Crazy? To a crazy person, my guess is they’ve heard it all there lives. Sometimes it doesn’t register for years that their behavior is a sole reason they’ve pushed so many people out of their life. By the time it registers, it’s usually too late. The only way of making a crazy person realize they’re crazy is by not encouraging it. Just like you may appreciate someone giving you feedback on a novel you’ve been writing, it’s also helpful for someone to call you out when you’re overreacting about something. The reason why crazy continues to flourish in this person’s life is probably because they’ve had a healthy source of voices telling them they’re right, even honorable for staying true to “themselves” as if they were born selfish, narcissistic or paranoid. Trust me, no one is born this way.
This is why crazy people love hanging out with devotees. As soon as they get an inkling that someone sees through them, they’re quick to runaway. A crazy person hates to see his or her reflection from public opinion because it reminds them that they’re crazy. They’re so accustomed to acting the way they do that humoring the idea of changing or self-investigating is scary. Altering a lifelong habit is always going to be resisted.

It’s hard trying to get toxic people out of your life, but the good thing is once they’re gone you now know what to look for in people. Maya Angelou once said, “When a person shows you their true selves, believe them.” This was something you seriously neglected to do when you first met this person, but if you think back now, I’m sure there were plenty of signs – that one time he flipped out on you when he lost his phone; the time he treated you like shit because you made his crush laugh at a joke; the time he accused you of ignoring him when you didn’t even know he was in the room; the time he embarrassed you in front of everyone because he happened to have a bad day; the numerous times he withheld important information from you out of resentment or jealousy; the time he didn’t invite you to his party because he wanted revenge for something; the night he left you stranded at the club because no one was flirting with him; or the times he always felt the need to tell you “so and so” doesn’t like you.
Crazy people thrive on self-righteousness. That’s why their manic behavior affects other people rather than themselves. They don’t feel important so they try to make everyone around them bow at their feet; this makes them feel involved in their own lives. But if they looked behind them, they’ll be quick to see the trail of friends they’ve trampled over to gain a short-lived amount of self-esteem.

How do you deal with a crazy person? The same way you deal with anything else toxic: DETOX them out of your system. You might very well be the one who gives them a much-needed epiphany, but trust me, don’t hold your breath. The second you start feeding them, you’re accrediting their behavior. You’re saying it’s okay for you to act this way, it’s okay for you to release your self-loathing on me, it’s okay for you to use me as a punching bag, and you know what? When you apologize, I’ll forgive you as well… this is dangerous. When the behavior becomes repetitive, the best thing you can do is protect yourself. You are the most important person in this situation. He might realize the aftermath of their behavior, but you should never wait around to find out.
You’re much smarter than a crazy person gives you credit for. Whether you realize it or not, they’re insulting your intelligence by thinking you’re dumb enough to fall for their act. Stop living with them in fantasy-land and come back to the real world – the weather is much nicer here.

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